Uzuncaburç Archaeological Site



Location: 28 km (17 mi) North of Silifke Map

Open: 9am- 6pm daily


Uzuncaburç is an ancient archaeological site situated 28 km (17 mi) North of Silifke in Turkey. Uzuncaburç is located in the mountainous hinterland of Silifke, the ancient Seleukeia on Kalykadnos. In the village and the nearby hamlet of Ura are the ruins of the ancient cities of Olba and Diokaisareia. The name of the place refers to a Hellenistic residential and watchtower. This is a Turkish name for a Hellenistic city that is translated as a "Tall Tower" after a prominent defensive tower that stands out. It is a square structure that measures at 22 meters (72 feet) in height. During antiquity it was known as a Diocaesarea- Olba. It was particularly famous for its temple of Zeus Olbius. Other notable structures include great theatre, nymphaem (ancient fountain), temple of Tyche and many other. The site is not very populated by tourists so you can spend a whole day without seeing anyone on a site.



The City of Diokaesareia was a temple center and part of the Olba Temple State during the Seleucid Empire. After the city fell into the hands of the Roman Empire, in 72 AD, Emperor Vespasian (69-79) separated the city from the center of the Olba state, 4 kilometers away, and made it a separate city. The city had the right to print its own currency. After Christianity was accepted in the Roman Empire, some of the Hellenistic temples in the city were converted into churches and the city became a bishopric center. The city was abandoned after the Cilicia region fell into Arab hands. During the Ottoman Empire, a new settlement was formed just east of the ruins, and this town was named "Uzuncaburç", inspired by the Hellenistic tower at the ruins.[3] Today, Uzuncaburç is the name of both the town and the ruins.



The main structures are:
Theater: It is in the east of the protected area, on the side of today's Uzuncaburç town. The ancient theater was built during the Roman Empire during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) and Lucius Verus (161-169 AD).
Hellenistic tower: It is in the north-east of the protected area. It has dimensions of 16x13x23. It is thought that it was built for the city's people to take shelter during the war.
Ceremonial gate: It is in the east of the protected area. It consists of 5 columns with a diameter of 1 meter and a height of 7 meters. The consoles on the columns must have been made to hold statues. It dates from the 1st century AD.
Temple of Zeus: It is a large temple with a peripteral plan surrounded by 36 columns. It was built by Seleucus Nikator I, who reigned between 305-281 BC, but was converted into a church in the 5th century.
Chance (Tyche) temple: It is in the west of the protected area. It is stated in the architrave, which is still supported by five columns, each 6 meters high, that this temple was built by the city noble couple Oppius and Kyria.
Entrance gate: The protected area is in the northwest. Although the walls have been largely destroyed, the entrance gate consisting of a main entrance and two side entrances is still standing.
Monumental tomb: It is a tomb with a height of 15 meters and a floor area of 5.5 x 5.5 m2, located in the southeast outside the protected area. It is thought to belong to a king.
Necropolis area: Outside the protected area, there are many rock tombs in a valley in the north.